Mayor's WINS Address
After a mild fall, it's suddenly become a very cold winter. It's been light on snow, but on a number of nights the temperature has already dipped into the twenties, teens, and below.
As nice as this change in weather can be, it's also important to remember that we should take basic precautions to guard ourselves against the cold - because in very cold temperatures, being prepared can actually be a matter of life and death, especially for infants and the elderly. The temperature doesn't even have to be below freezing for your body to be affected.
That's why all New Yorkers should be sure to wear hats, hoods or scarves when going outside - because most body heat is lost from the head. You should wear layers of clothing instead of a single item - and wool is especially good. And you should make sure that your clothing stays dry - and that you change out of wet clothes as quickly as possible. Some of these precautions may sound like common sense, but they're very important to remember on those days when it feels more like the surface of the moon than the planet earth.
Also drink warm liquids, but stay away from alcoholic beverages. Though they may make you feel warm, they don't keep you warm - they actually increase the risk for hypothermia and frostbite.
Also, in your home you should make sure your furnaces are inspected and cleaned if necessary… that you only use electric heaters with extreme care to avoid shock, fire and burn hazards… and that you never use gas ovens or burners for heating purposes.
If your landlord is failing to provide you with basic services such as heat, hot water, or electricity, you can call the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Central Complaint Bureau 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (212) 960-4800.
Whatever the weather turns out to be, have a wonderful weekend and a great week in this new year. I want to also welcome back the Knicks and the entire NBA. Now Jeff Van Gundy, Patrick Ewing and the rest of the team can make another run at the NBA title. Maybe they can join the Yankees - and hopefully the Jets - as champions of their sport. From City Hall, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.